It goes without saying that mobile has opened up its way into our lives so fast. Similar to all innovations, smartphones can be used to the advantage of us or the other way around. It is important to take a step back and ponder about the usage of smartphones in our daily routines. I am passionate about technology and enjoy using them so much, but I am worried about too much technology in our lives.
Deloitte published the result of an amazing survey called “2016 global mobile consumer survey: US edition” which has meaningful statistics.
The time it takes for us to pick up our phones in the morning continues to shrink: more than 40% of consumers check
their phones within five minutes of waking up. Likewise we have trouble putting them down, with over 30% of consumers checking their devices five minutes before going to sleep, and half doing so in the middle of the night. All told, we look at our phones approximately 47 times a day, and that number rises to 82 for 18-24 year-olds. Collectively US smartphone users check their phones in the aggregate more than 9 billion times per day.
Source: Deloitte 2016 Global Mobile Consumer Survey: US (Link)
A study regarding the possible damage of digital life conducted by University of Western Ontario showed the average attention span for humans in 2015 was 8 seconds compared to 12 seconds in the year 2000.
The statistics reveal how we are embracing smart technologies in our life which is not particularly bad. It has pros and cons and we are in charge of looking at the pattern of using them and correct it in case it is necessary. Clearly, the smart technologies and their connected nature have enabled us to experience a pleasant lifestyle. Smartphone vendors have invested hugely in making this gadget powerful, useful, and addictive indeed. It is an attractive industry and seems irrational not taking a share of the market. The result is amazing smartphones capable of doing almost anything which has made us addicted to them. A pleasant addiction which does not bother us at all.
I have no debate regarding the usefulness of smartphones and how they’ve made our life easier and more productive, but my quest is to take your attention around the fact that we are spending or waste some time on other activities which do not add any value to our lives and are harmful instead, for instance, social networks.
The Happiness Research Institute conducted an experiment (Link) which is an attempt to answer whether social media affect the quality of our lives or not? The result of the experiment reveals that
“After one week without facebook the treatment group reported a significantly higher level of life satisfaction.
People who had taken a break from facebook felt happier and were less sad and lonely.
After one week without facebook the treatment group experienced an increase in their social activity and an increase in their satisfaction with their social life.
After one week without facebook the treatment group experienced less concentration difficulties
People on facebook are 55% more likely to feel stressed.
People taking a break from facebook are 18% more likely to feel present in the moment.
After one week without facebook the treatment group felt they wasted their time less.”
The following statement can explain the underlying reason for the destructiveness of social media in our life.
“SOCIAL MEDIA IS A NON STOP GREAT NEWS CHANNEL. A CONSTANT FLOW OF EDITED LIVES WHICH DISTORTS OUR PERCEPTION OF REALITY.” THE HAPPINESS RESEARCH IN
Here, the important question is what we can do to benefit from smartphones and digital technologies while minimising the probable damages?
‘If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It’
First of all, we need to ascertain how long we use our smartphones. Fortunately, there are many applications specially developed to measure app-specific usage. The pattern and data extracted in a period (a week or month) are informative and helps us revise our behaviour. Quality Time is an android application which helps you discover your smartphone habits easily (Link).
I suggest using this app or other alternatives to find out about your habit for a week. Then come back to read the second part of this blog post which has some recommendations.